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AU urges Malong, Cirilo to unconditionally join peace process

Gen. Paul Malong, right, and Gen. Thomas Cirilo (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

November 19th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) has urged – in a communique – South Sudan’s former army chief General Paul Malong Awan and National Salvation Front (NAS) leader General Thomas Cirilo Swaka to unconditionally join the ongoing peace process.

Malong – who leads the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) – and Cirilo are not signatories to the revitalized peace agreement signed by South Sudan government and opposition groups in September last year in Addis Ababa.

Cirilo, along with People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) leader Dr. Hakim Dario, pulled out of peace talks being conducted in the Sudanese capital Khartoum at the time after they accused President Salva Kiir of monopoly over the talks.

The regional body, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which mediated the agreement, has been accused by Malong of rejecting his request to join the peace talks before the government and SPLM-IO, along other minor opposition groups, could signed the agreement on September 12th 2018

Since then, Cirilo, Malong and Dario have been calling for the reopening of the 2018 peace agreement for renegotiation: something the government of Salva Kiir said it will not do at all costs.

In a communique issued this afternoon following a November 14th meeting, the African Union Peace and Security Council urged the non-signatories to unconditionally join the ongoing peace process.

“[The AUPSC] Calls on the holdout groups to unconditionally join the peace process with a view to ending the current hardships facing the people of South Sudan,” the communique seen by the Nyamilepedia partly read.

The communique requested the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais to engage Malong and Cirilo in particular to convince them to join the ongoing peace process.

“[The AUPSC] encourages the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan to continue to engage the leaders of the holdout groups, in particular Thomas Cirillo and Paul Malong to join the R-ARCSS,” it said.

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